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Child Support & Paternity Fraud

Should a man have to pay child support for a child who is not his biological child? I was wondering when this was going to be taken up by the Legislature again. Over the years I have dealt with a few cases where the "father" raised the child or children and then, upon divorce or dissolution of the relationship, found out that his sweet heart may have also been sweet on someone else as well. Because of North Carolina law, none of them ended well due to strict time-lines to challenge paternity. It would be one thing if the system seemed to...

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Affections For Baby?

Observing Baby? Observing the baby one night a wife found her husband standing over their baby's crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, scepticism. Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, with eyes glistening she slipped her arm around her husband. "A penny for your thoughts," she said. "It's amazing!" he replied. "I just can't see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $46.50." Originally published in McNeil Family Law blog post....

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Telling Your Parents You’re Getting Divorced

Sometimes the most difficult reality of divorce is telling your parents you are getting a divorce.  As most folks know, telling your kids about your pending divorce of separation is difficult. This article explores the reality and solutions for explaining to your parents why you are getting a divorce as well. There is not good way to tell them, unless they completely hate your spouse, but there are better ways to tell them than others. The decisions that lead to the end of a relationship are more than likely a multitude of reasons; how to convey those reasons does not need...

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Defense of Marriage in NC

North Carolina's defense of marriage?! As a divorce attorney, it is fairly humorous [in a 'what the heck'-kind of way] when certain members of our community and legislature spend so much State money, taxpayer money, on issues like whether North Carolina should have a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. I, for one, think it is an incredible waste of time, resources and energy that could be better used elsewhere...

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Alimony & Affirmative Defense Dismissal Claim

Does the failure to Reply to an Affirmative Defense Necessitate dismissal of a claim? The Plaintiff filed a claim for Alimony and the Defendant filed and Answer and Counterclaims. The Defendant included Affirmative Defenses against Plaintiff's alimony claim. The Trial Court dismissed the Plaintiff's claim for alimony because the Plaintiff did not Reply to the Affirmative Defenses and the Trial Court reasoned that the Affirmative Defenses were "deemed admitted" pursuant to G.S. 1A-1, Rules 7 & 8. The unanimous decision from the Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court's decision using, among other things, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and decisions...

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A Two Year Waiting Period For Divorce?

Two Year Waiting Period For Divorce? The waiting period for divorce in North Carolina is currently one year. However, North Carolina State Senator Austin Allran introduced a Bill in the Senate which would require a two year waiting period before a couple could seek a divorce. Additionally, the couple could remain together and have to take specific classes regarding communication and conflict resolution. My guess is that couple may have already tried these "cute tips" and shouldn't have to be mandated to try it again. Not many people that I know of seek divorce on a whim...

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